So, apparently my Hannity-related ranting has not yet concluded. For the past few hours I've been posting the following completely true story on the Hannity forums, using one alternate IP and identity after another. I've found it fun but the mods are far too quick and merciless for it to have any staying power:
Four years ago, I was banned from this forum for questioning the ban of one of my close friends, who had in turn been banned for questioning another ban. I'm unclear as to how far back the chain unravelled.
In direct violation of this board's standards which allows "criticism without getting personal," I was banned. I created a new account, posting in the moderator forum to question the ban, in accordance with the site's regulations. This account was immediately banned as well without any explanation.
I left, disillusioned, and finally began posting again a few months ago. Yesterday, once again in clear violation of your forum's standards, I was banned for questioning the ban of another user, who had said something you didn't like, once again something completely allowable according to forum rules. An innocent question led to his ban, then mine.
The Discussion Rules for this forum explicitly prohibit this behavior, but the moderators did it anyway:
"You have been banned for the following reason: No reason was specified.
Date the ban will be lifted: Never."
This isn't a forum - a place to openly discuss ideas. This is fascist 1930s-40s Italy, where your friends and neighbors disappear and mentioning their disappearance is dangerous to your well-being. This is Nazi Germany, where mere mention of certain topics WILL lead to instabans, once again, I repeat, in full violation of this board's guidelines, which should serve as the Moderator's Bible.
Why did they ban me?
Because I said something that they didn't like, and because absolute, unchecked power corrupts. Because Lee Kington and his posse, always fans of secret midnight lynchings, ban all with whom they disagree, tainting WABC, Sean Hannity and the entire conservative movement by their behavior.
The message: Forget the forum rules. Forget free speech, and everything I purport to stand for, for I have become a tyrant, and I have executions to oversee.
Well, Lee, I'm going to play your game. I have followed the rules in the past, unlike you and your bloodthirsty band, but your disregard for the standards of this board have driven me to baser methods. From now until the time that complete board reform occurs (a substantial portion of which will be the removal of Lee Kington and all other abusive and unrepentant moderators from this board), I will propagate this message in the forums.
Twenty seconds from now, somebody will see this post. They'll flag it and your Gestapo will descend upon it like a chocolate-coated Jew, and this post will be removed and my IP banned. But SOMEBODY will read this post before Big Brother has it removed from history. SOMEBODY will find out what has been happening on these forums for far too many years.
I will rotate my IP address, repost this message and let the cycle continue. In an attempt to drive the symbolic imagery home, each time I will appear with the name of a Jew who was killed in a Nazi concentration camp, who disappeared from his/her home or community without a trace, even as you silence opposing voices daily with no means for appeal.
I hope to cause you some tiny portion of the discomfort and frustration that you have given me, and maybe make this tiny section of the web a better place. Now let's have some fun.
So - posting under various Semitic names got my righteous anger flowing, as well as the mods' blood pressure, who promptly banned me as "punk ignorant trash."
After a ten-page conversation wherein the inner circle of mods congratulated themselves on repeatedly blocking my account, the guy who Sean Hannity has chosen to represent him responded in typically-thoughtful fashion:
Seriously - this is a grown man?
I had thought that I was the only one to have problems with this particular mod, but apparently there's a petition online for the guy's removal as a mod, as well as numerous articles from a wide variety of sources criticizing him. I'm going to continue with my project just to tick the guy off, but fighting that sunburned AARP'er is probably a lost cause.
EDIT: I'm starting to enjoy this. His avatar makes it easy to imagine him at his computer, flailing his arms about frantically as steam pours from his ears, cartoon-style:
EDIT (JULY 22):
Another example saved for posterity, which you'll have to click on to enlarge since it's pretty illegible (thanks to Asgardshill for the heads up):
Here Lee pretty much admits that the rules don't apply to him or any other moderator, and that they can ban pretty much anybody they want for any half-cocked reason. (Actually, "admits" is a strong word since he doesn't think that he's doing anything wrong.)